Family Business SME Focus

Business starts to gather pace

It’s important for anybody who wants to set up business in UAE to have a clear idea of what they are getting into; they should always ensure their concept is viable and that their idea fits with the personal vision and the market trends, says Saeed Khalifa Mohammed Al Fuqaei, Chairman & Co Founder, Shuraa Business Set Up. 

_Saeed-Khalifa-Mohammed-Al-Fuqaei,-Chairman-&-Co-Founder,-Shuraa-Management-and-Consultancy-LLC-Intelligent-SMEHow has your business of setup services changed over the past few years, with e-Government advances and the ease with which new businesses can be setup in the UAE?

At Shuraa, our goal is to assist clients to the best of our ability and we always welcome new tools which allow us to do so. While great strides have been made with online services for those wishing to establish a new business in Dubai, we still feel there is some way to go and a personal touch is still as critical as ever.

New services available online have streamlined the process dramatically and allow us to be more efficient in terms of processing the various applications required. This is fundamental to our development as any time saved can be deployed in other, more profitable ways to the benefit of our business. Most of the challenges in company formation stems from people being unaccustomed with the process and Government departments involved. Hence our specialist knowledge of the field and experience gained over the 15 years are invaluable to our customers.

Why Shuraa? What are your advantages over competition?

We are engaged in an extremely competitive market and we welcome the daily challenge as competition is what drives a company to evolve and improve. It’s crucial that an organisation never stands still and rests on its laurels and one should always look for ways to improve. Our competitors play a big part in focusing us to do better each day and to look for ways to improve our product and operations. Our competitive advantage lies in our experience and in the highest service levels available anywhere in the market. Since our formation in 2001, we have been growing every day and continually develop our workforce with the sole purpose of assisting our clients to achieve their aims. Many of our staff has been with us from the beginning and their experience and knowledge, coupled with the dynamism and hunger of the newer employees, forms a potent combination. We nurture a familial working environment and believe that a happy employee is a productive one. This allows us to offer unparalleled levels of service with the knowledge and resources we have built over the years.

As well as offering the company formation service, we remain a key part of our client’s strategy to help them to grow over months and years. As we service so many industries, the landscape is forever evolving .For example, a client may establish a company with three employees when they first move to Dubai but their needs changes as they grow and we stay part of the mix. Three employees can easily become 30, all of whom require visas, office space and PRO services. The initial company may diversify its business portfolio as they identify new opportunities and we are there to help at every step of the way. This relationship grows stronger over time and we are proud to say that our clients treat us a key pillar of
their development.

What are the basic requirements for any business set up? Do you set up companies across industries and segments or do you stick to a few sectors?Quote--Intelligent-SME

The basic requirement for any business startup is for the investor to have funds and valid documents and most importantly, a clear idea of what business activity they wish to carry out. Shuraa works across sectors and industries, not only in mainland Dubai but also in other Emirates, Free Zones and Offshore. We are perfectly positioned to help almost anyone wanting to operate in the region. We provide a one-stop solution for all those who intend to set up their business in the UAE and therefore offer a comprehensive range of services and company formation packages – right from initial establishment all the way to the necessary post business set-up activities.

What is Shuraa’s vision for company setup industry in the UAE? How can you best cater to your customers?

As we all know Dubai is a constantly evolving city and developing at an almost unprecedented rate into a truly global business hub.  The world is getting smaller and Dubai is perfectly positioned between the East and West to take advantage of the increase in international trade and globalization. Therefore the demand for our services is as high as ever and will continue to grow as we see more and more countries wishing to trade in the United Arab Emirates.

We believe there will be a greater degree of internationalization as foreign organizations recognize the tremendous opportunities in Dubai. There is a focus on increasing the number of languages spoken and nationalities of our staff so we can make existing and potential clients feel more comfortable.

Many investors find the task of setting up their business to be quite daunting. They may have a brilliant concept but feel overwhelmed with the actual process of establishing their company before their able to trade. Most of them get confused not knowing what to do and how to do it so we help navigate the various stages. We support them in making decisions on whether they want to base their venture in a free zone or not, the licence procedure, the documentation process etc., and offer a
customised experience to meet their specific needs.

What is your advice to entrepreneurs looking to set up new companies in an uncertain market? Do you think it is the right time to set up a new business?

It’s important for anybody who wants to set up business in UAE to have a clear idea of what he or she is getting into; they should always carry out research into the business environment to ensure their concept is viable and analyse if their idea fits  with the personal vision and the market trends.

We don’t believe the UAE has been as badly affected as some other countries and the market is stable with new companies forming as usual. The UAE has shown tremendous growth when compared to many other global economies and I would attribute this to the visionary approach of our leaders. The federal government has a dynamic approach with strong emphasis on long-term, sustainable development and this benefits everyone. Due to the diversified economy in UAE, it has maintained positive growth despite oil price fluctuations. This has led to enhanced confidence among international investors who feel protected to a degree by the UAE’s resilient economic policies which make investment opportunities highly appealing.

As you know the SME sector makes up for 80% of the economy in this region. How does Shuraa help reinforce and strengthen the SME sector through its services?

SME’s are crucial in any market and this is particularly true in the GCC. Not only do smaller and medium sized companies make up a huge portion of the economy but they also drive innovation, encourage creativity and generally enrich the business environment.

Monopolization can be extremely detrimental to the business environment and scare off foreign investors who feel they will never be able to secure a foothold. This leads to stagnation which in turn stifles modernization and while it’s great for some, the pace of development is significantly slower which is harmful in the long run. By having so much of the UAE’s economic strength split amongst thousands of different companies, it creates an environment where people have faith that they can make a difference and grow. People work harder if they believe their company can grow and make them more money. Opportunity stimulates growth and if you can do something better than your competitor or devise new solutions to problems, then you should have the promise of reward. It’s a key factor in job and wealth creation which then stimulates the economy and is better for everyone.

With Expo 2020, many companies are setting up their base in the UAE. Do you think that Expo 2020 will help Shuraa expand?

Absolutely. Dubai is almost unrecognizable to how it was a decade ago and we think this will be even more true of the next few years. You only have to look around to see the investment by the government and private companies & individuals to improving the city and much of this is gearing up to 2020.

The eyes of the business world will be on Dubai and the city is determined to make the most of it and is on track to do so. Naturally companies will see the volume of visitors as potential customers and partners and this is going to be a key driver for businesses which is great for an organization like ours. However, it’s also evident that 2020 isn’t the only focus and there’s a palpable sense of growth in Dubai not only for the next few years, but for decades. Companies can feel secure investing here as it has become more attractive to International organizations. Shuraa helps them achieve their goals and is perfectly positioned to help existing clients fulfil their potential. We see huge potential for growth, both with existing and future partners.

Besides a well-established infrastructure what are the other advantages a business owner can leverage if he chooses UAE as a base for his business?

First and foremost, UAE is a wonderful place to live and work. There aren’t many places in the world which can offer as many attractions, activities and the general standard of living. While business may be a driver for a move, people won’t stay unless they’re happy which is why they are in the UAE!

Infrastructure is the key to facilitating business but also evidence of a government and leader that is committed to developing the country. People feel safer investing when they know the government is serious about nurturing the business environment which is clearly the case here.

You must also acknowledge the impact tax and import regulations have on the market, particularly with the various free zones. The way the system is structured here allows companies and individuals to keep the money they earn which is hugely attractive to business owners and individuals alike. If you also take into account the legal framework developed for foreign investors,
UAE is almost uniquely attractive  to operate in.

No matter what industry you may be in, UAE has an enormous labor pool with increasing levels of specialization driven by strong education as well as the number of expats. Coupled with Dubai’s location and reputation as a trading hub, it creates the perfect blend of opportunity for companies all over the world.

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